1) WANT TO IMPROVE RETURN TO SPORT OUTCOMES FOLLOWING INJURY? EMPOWER, ENGAGE, PROVIDE FEEDBACK AND BE TRANSPARENT: 4 HABITS!
2) UPDATE ON FUNCTIONAL RECOVERY PROCESS FOR THE INJURED ATHLETE: RETURN TO SPORT CONTINUUM REDEFINED
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
It is well documented that sports injuries have a substantial cost in both a financial and performance sense, so it is therefore understandable that there is a wealth of literature in the field of injury prevention and monitoring strategies. A more difficult area to research is the field of injury rehabilitation, as the pressure of swift return to play in elite sport means that performance of randomized control trials in elite athletes is very difficult. It is therefore important that different approaches are proposed in order to provide therapists with a pathway that they can look to utilize and adapt to fit their own individual environments. This review will look at similarities, differences and potential clinical implications of two recent return to sport (RTS) proposals documented within the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The first key similarity between the two editorials is their discussion and recognition of the importance of a harmonious multi-disciplinary team within the rehabilitation process. Both papers make repeated reference to the need for a team within which there is open communication and a shared decision process in place if there is to be a successful outcome.
The second common theme in the papers is the consideration of the inclusion of psychological components to the RTS process. King et al. (2018) reference this as providing the athlete with the ability to openly discuss the positive and negative aspects of their process with all staff members, or by providing them with a “rehabilitation holiday” in order to maintain motivation and compliance. Buckthorpe et al. (2018) look at the psychological component slightly differently with more of a focus on formal return to sport criteria such as psychological fear of reinjury questionnaires.
The final common theme in the two papers is the fact that they try to provide a framework that ensures the RTS process is criteria-based and therefore tries to protect the athlete and the therapists from any external pressures that they will likely encounter in the elite sport setting.
Despite their similarities there is also some clear differences distinguishing the two frameworks. The first and probably most important difference is the person that is placed in charge of the RTS decisions. King et al. (2018) make a large emphasis